NEW YORK — The Warnaco Group has named Sheree Waterson as president of Speedo North America, part of its fast-growing swimwear division.

Waterson replaces Susan Guensch, who left the company last fall, said Craig Brommers, Speedo’s vice president of marketing. Waterson was most recently vice president of women’s apparel at Levi Strauss & Co., and has also held executive positions at Wet Seal, Contempo Casuals and Mervyn’s.

Waterson will oversee all aspects of Speedo’s design, development, merchandising, marketing and sales. She reports to Kathy Van Ness, executive vice president of Warnaco Swimwear.

Warnaco has been rapidly building up its Speedo division in the last year, as well as its entire swimwear business. The company recently launched a high-end swimwear line under the Speedo Platinum label and introduced Axcelerate Engineered by Speedo, a sportswear line that is hitting stores now for spring. Warnaco also bought the Ocean Pacific Apparel Corp. business last year and will introduce Michael Kors swimwear for cruise 2006.

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